The biggest hurdle plus-size women face in the marriage bed isn’t our bodies . It is our feelings about our weight and size.
It is possible to enjoy a thriving marriage bed as a plus-size woman.
God designed us to enjoy sexual intimacy in the marriage bed—but that doesn’t mean it is always going to be a bed of roses.
The reality is that being overweight can have an impact on how we manage sex. The challenges will be different for every couple. Some challenges are things that make sex difficult, painful, or impossible. Others are things that can interfere more with our enjoyment of sex than with the ability to engage.
I’m going to write frankly about some of these challenges. I’ve experienced a few things here and am glad not to have experienced others.
Lots of women have sexual challenges, so while many of our challenges may be unique to being plus-size, we are NOT unique in that we have challenges.
So let’s take a deep breath and see what we’re up against.
One impact of size on sexual intimacy is in the logistics. When you’re a plus-size woman, one of the basic challenges is simply figuring out how to make things work.
Let’s face it. Large tummies make some positions either uncomfortable or downright impossible. Plus-size thighs, breasts, and rear ends can also get in the way in some positions.
Some women find the woman-on-top position to be particularly difficult—even more so if the husband is also a larger guy. Missionary position might work well enough—as long as you aren’t trying to kiss at the same time.
If you try to spice things up by getting busy outside the bedroom, it can be tricky to find a spot that accommodates your size and weight. You may not fit on the couch in the way you’d like to, and sex on the kitchen table is a bit risky when you carry extra weight.
Depending on what positions you can do, you may not have many options for sex outside the bedroom.
Weight-related health conditions
Many health conditions related to weight cause their own problems, affecting intercourse itself, putting certain positions off limits, or inhibiting our ability to engage in other sexual activities:
- joints that don’t bear weight easily
- a tendency to get out of breath
- low energy levels
- difficulties with arousal and orgasm related to diabetes, high blood pressure, or medications used to treat these conditions
- discomfort breathing while lying flat on the back
- difficulty walking (or chasing)
- mobility problems that require the use of a cane or a wheelchair
There’s really no way to be vague about this one. If you are overweight, you may have extra padding around your genitals. Entering the vagina may require a bit more effort by your husband.
Hygiene and Grooming
This is a delicate area to discuss, I know. Unfortunately, hygiene and grooming can sometimes pose a challenge, especially if you’re very overweight.
On top of the body issues many of us face, this is an area that can cause embarrassment.
None of the items below interferes with the technical aspects of intercourse. Everything on the list, however, can contribute to feelings of unsexiness or require extra effort in being prepared for sexual intimacy.
- If you have a panniculus (a belly flap that hangs down), you might experience skin infections or rawness. This can cause discomfort for you, and you may need ointments or powder that interfere with touch or taste.
- If you are very large or have mobility problems, you may struggle to put on deodorant sufficiently or to get fully clean after using the bathroom.
- Being overweight can worsen incontinence.
- You may not be able to reach to paint your toenails, shave your legs, or perform pubic grooming. Or, if you can reach, you may not have a clear view of everything you’re doing.
Practical Ways to Enjoy Plus-Size Sexual Intimacy
As you can see, being a plus-size woman can bring some plus-size challenges to intimacy. Fortunately, we can deal with most of these in ways that can enhance the closeness we experience with our husbands.
We may think that the goal is intercourse, but this focuses our attention on only one part of sexual intimacy.
The goal isn’t intercourse.
The goal is intimacy.
What my husband and I experience together in the privacy of our marriage bed strengthens the intimacy between the two of us—and that includes the experience of figuring out how to make things work well. Even when something doesn’t work, sharing the private experience of something not working sexually can help you feel close to each other.
Being sexual with your husband can strengthen the connection and oneness in your marriage. You may need to get creative or adjust how you do some things, especially if your bodies don’t work like they used to or like the world tells you yours should work.
I want to say something here about putting on our big girl panties and getting to work, but since sexual intimacy tends to work better with the panties off, we’ll just keep moving along . . . 🙂
Dealing with Physical Limitations
How can you make things work sexually when your body faces weight-related limitations? When you think of the goal as sexual intimacy rather than only as intercourse, lots of possibilities open up.
I’ve done a little research on the internet so you don’t have to. (Side note: You do not want to google “fat woman sex.” Trust me on this.)
When your body just doesn’t do certain things, it’s time to make some adjustments.
- Use pillows or sex furniture (affiliate link) to support your body and change angles. Wedges are particularly helpful because they are firm enough that they maintain the position. Try a wedge under your rear end or the small of your back if you’re lying on your back. Or, if you are trying a woman-on-top position, see what happens when you place a wedge under your husband.
- Use a surface with some bounce or “give” to it. That allows for small adjustments that can help get the right angle.
- The cowgirl position has the woman sitting on top. Try a reverse cowgirl, where you face your husband’s feet rather than his face—and rather than be vertical, get on your hands and knees. This keeps your stomach out of the way, and your husband will probably appreciate the view!*
- Position a standing mirror where it allows for eye contact or visual enjoyment of activities if girth gets in the way.
- If traditional missionary position isn’t feasible, have your husband kneel between your legs. Or, if you have a bed that is elevated from the ground, you can lie on the bed on your back while your husband stands. You can hold your legs up or prop them on your husband’s arms or shoulders.*
- For rear entry intercourse (“doggy style”), try to put your head and chest close to the bed. This elevates your rear to provide better access. If your rear is one of your plus-size assets, this can be particularly helpful. Outside the bedroom, you can try leaning over an armrest or the back of the couch.*
- Use oral and manual stimulation. (See the Oral Sex series links on this page.) I know of a couple who never had intercourse because of his health issues. However, they managed to enjoy sexual intimacy with each other several times a week by using oral and manual stimulation.
- Masturbate together. Masturbation doesn’t require too much energy or difficult positions so may be a good option for some couples, especially if energy or mobility are limited. (See this post on masturbating in front of your husband.)
- If your body size gets in the way of being able to kiss during intercourse, use manual stimulation instead. You may find that a manually-induced orgasm while kissing your husband creates more intimacy than intercourse without kissing.
- Along these same lines, consider using a marital aid to help you out. A vibrator might be helpful if your husband’s arm can’t quite reach you on its own. If you are unable to get into many positions to stimulate your husband, you could use a stroker on him or hold him while he uses it (affiliate links). Although we think of these things as sex toys and many couples do use them just for fun, for couples with certain physical challenges, they truly are marital aids more than sex toys.
- If you use a device to aid with mobility, incorporate it into your sexual intimacy. Can’t chase your husband? Grab at his arm with your cane—and then just keep pulling him closer and closer. Or see if you can figure out how to have sex on a wheelchair.
- If you have extra tissue in your public region, artificial lubricant can help make penetration a bit easier.
Dealing with Hygiene and Grooming Issues
Feeling sexy can be a challenge just because of our size. When we can’t go through basic grooming and hygiene rituals, it is even harder to feel sexy and rarin’ to go.
One of the best ways to deal with personal care challenges is to incorporate them into your sexual activity when possible.
- Make a shower or bath a regular part of your preparations for sex. Get scented body wash.
- If you need to apply any ointment or powder, wait until after sex to apply.
- If you are concerned about aromas, even after a shower or bath, use perfume, a scented lotion, or scented candles.
- If you can’t paint your own toenails, get a professional pedicure. If that isn’t feasible, perhaps you have a family member or friend who will paint your toenails from time to time. Better yet, have your husband paint your toe nails after giving you a foot massage.
- Ask your husband to shave your legs or groom your pubic hair as you prepare for sex. This can be arousing, so it is a multi-purpose activity.
I know how difficult it can be to deal with these things. Exposing something that has been a private pain and source of shame to your husband is uncomfortable and embarrassing.
Intimacy in marriage includes all sorts of things. If your husband is a good-willed, well-intentioned man, trust him with this part of your life. Invite him into deeper intimacy, even if it doesn’t seem too sexy to you.
So many of us have sex in the dark, stay mostly clothed during sex, or avoid positions that put our substantial assets front and center—all in an effort to hide.
Sweet friend, I want you to think about who it is you’re hiding from. Your husband? He already knows your size. He already knows your body intimately. Hiding your body doesn’t fool him. All it does is keep you from having to see your body.
If you need to be healthier, work on being healthier. But for now, today, in the body you have right now—embrace all the gifts God has given to you.
Use the gift of your body with joy and pleasure. If you have a bountiful body, then that is the body you get to enjoy with your husband.
Although being plus-size does pose challenges in the marriage bed, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy vibrant and joyful sexual intimacy. You just may need to go about it with some creativity.
Your body is no less precious a gift than if it were smaller or lighter.
You, my dear, plus-size sister, bear God’s image. Just as you are.
Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
*Looking for plus-size positions? Check out the safe-to-view suggestions at Christian Friendly Sex Positions.